People's Party

Iraqi-Canadian MC Narcy Explains The Danger Of Internet Deep Fakes

On this week’s episode of People’s Party, Talib Kweli and Jasmin Leigh sat down with rapper and activist Narcy for a wide-ranging chat that touched on everything from the Muslim poet Rumi and Islam in hip-hop to Narcy’s directorial work on some of Kweli’s favorite videos. Well into the nearly 90-minute conversation, talk turned to Narcy’s very viral, deep fake-filled video for “Thoughts and Prayers,” where we see Narcy re-cast in the middle of some of the internet’s most meme-able moments.

“I didn’t have to do much, I just sent some green screen footage of myself and I scoured YouTube and found all these meme-able moments or characters that are controversial in society and put myself in those situations,” says Narcy, noting that the ease of making the video and the problematic nature of being able to present himself as any other person or ethnicity made him come to the realization of just how dangerous deep-fake technology could be in the wrong hands. “You can frame anybody. You can shoot a whole bank heist and god forbid put Kweli’s face on the guy, and then that can go to court, and who is to prove that that’s real or wrong. It’s an interesting technology, it’s fun but it’s also dangerous. You can do it in two minutes on your phone now, imagine where we’re going to be in 10 years.”

Watch the full discussion on this week’s People’s Party with Talib Kweli (the deep fake conversation begins at the 29-minute mark) above and check out the video for Narcy’s “Thoughts and Prayers” below.